The Biden administration reinstated a Trump-era immigration rule on Wednesday, a day before Title 42, a public health order allowing border officials to expel migrants without processing, is set to expire.
The rule disqualifies migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they did not first apply for asylum in countries they traveled through, like Mexico. According to CBS News, hundreds of asylum officers were trained Tuesday on how to enforce the rule ahead of Title 42’s repeal. The reversal of President Biden’s campaign promises comes as historic levels of illegal immigration strain resources at the southern border.
The expiration of Title 42 Thursday is expected to worsen the ongoing crisis, with some estimates suggesting 15,000 migrants could enter El Paso, Texas alone. When Trump enacted the rule to curb illegal immigration, Biden criticized it.
During his 2020 campaign, Biden called the rule “the first time in history” asylum-seekers must seek refuge elsewhere. The Department of Homeland Security has scrambled to prepare for the surge, requesting military aid and partnering with local law enforcement to detain migrants.
On Monday, Border Patrol reported nearly 9,000 migrant apprehensions and over 7,000 gotaways daily. By Tuesday, more than 11,000 migrants were reportedly detained crossing the border.